by: Jack Colton
Customer: Do you have any experience with using an inverter to power a 350 watt photographic strobe? I am looking to run these, and my understanding is some smaller inverters can handle them and others cannot. Thanks.
A Pure sine inverter will work fine if the strobe power supply AC requirement is up to 350 watts. The reason some inverters will not work, is because they are modified sine wave. Pure sine will work fine if they can supply enough wattage.
Strobe circuits are often made up of capacitors and diodes in "voltage doubling" configurations. The reason this is done is because a transformer based power supply is heavy. Capacitors are much lighter.
Capacitor based power supplies take forever to charge to the correct voltage when powered by MSW. Not so with pure sine. Capacitor based power supplies can produce high voltages in cyclic use but at little continuous current, so, a large capacitor stores the energy as it is building to the correct voltage. Then, BAM, the strobe tube is fired to discharge the capacitor. Then the circuit repeats the cycle to charge the capacitor. So capacitor and diode circuits are ideal for strobe lamps - lightweight, relatively inexpensive. Pure sine wave is best for strobe power supplies.